Belgian Ambassador: Still no consensus on Serbia in EU Council

Shutterstock/Melinda Nagy

The enlargement of the European Union (EU) is politically agreed and no one will stop the enlargement process, Belgian Ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro Cathy Buggenhout told an interview with the European Western Balkans (EWB).

She said, however, that the EU cannot just enlarge without strings attached, and that it attaches great importance to fundamental values.

“We cannot lower our standards just to take up countries if these countries do not respect the same values and standards,” said Buggenhout.

Commenting on EU-Serbia negotiation Cluster 3, the ambassador said “In the European Commission progress report on Serbia, published in November 2023, it is written that there are no open benchmarks left in Cluster 3. The Commission recommended opening Cluster 3.”

Cathy Buggenhout said that, as election were held in Serbia on December 17 and the new government put in place on May 2, 2024, “basically no legislative work was done during the first four months of 2024, during which Belgium holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU.”

“At this moment, there’s still no consensus in the Council, because we have not seen any change,” said Ambassador Buggenhout.